Sunday, November 10, 2013

It's the Little Things

Last week was rough.  It was my first week writing for 8 clients and I felt the work load for the first time.  I know part of what was so crazy was the learning curve of the new position, plus learning how to balance working at home with my responsibilities to my family.  I know both things will take an adjustment period and I'll get there :)

Added to that I ended up being a Thirty-One vendor at my son's school on Friday night.  The school was having their annual "Fall Fest" and decided to combine Fall Fest with their Holiday Boutique.  I committed to being a vendor in September, long before I knew I'd be working.

By Thursday afternoon I was a ball of stress. The learning curve at work meant I'd spent 3 entire days on the computer, and away from my family, without having a lot of billable hours to show for it.  I was extremely edgy and frustrated, plus had to get ready for Friday night's event.

All I could think about all week was getting through Friday night . . .

Friday morning I had two things to do and figured I'd knock them out quickly and actually be able to get to the gym for the first time in nearly a month.  Both things took longer than expected, but I was ok with it because one ended up involving an hour long phone conversation with a friend.  The other was a quick errand that turned into a friend making me lunch and getting some time to chat with her.   The two things I thought would be done by 9:30, leaving me 3 hours until I had to pick up my daughter, took me until 12:30 :)  Like I said, it was all good because there was time to chat with friends in there :)

Friday my husband took a half day of vacation so I could start setting up my booth as soon as I picked my son up from school and dropped him off at home.   My husband also took the kids around to play games while I worked.

The evening was not a great business success.  In fact, I didn't make a single sale.  I'm hoping to follow up and be able to get some parties (or at least some orders) from the people who entered my raffle, but otherwise it was pretty discouraging.  My only consolation was that the vendor fee went to my son's PTO, which is pretty fabulous!

At some point during the week I'd asked on Facebook if anybody in my neighborhood wanted to recommend a reasonably priced hair stylist because I hadn't had my hair cut or highlighted in 6mo and it's driving me crazy.  The lady who normally does my hair is about 30 minutes away and only works Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so it's nearly impossible for me to see her these days because of my kids' school schedules.

At one point during the evening a friend of mine, who is on the school's PTO (also the one who invited me in for lunch when I stopped by to pick a table up from her that morning) asked me how business was going.  I told her it wasn't going well.

A little while later my wonderful friend said, "I bought you a raffle ticket for a hair cut".  I thought it was extremely sweet since she said she'd seen my Facebook post.

As I was loading my Thirty-One display into my car I saw a friend from my Moms in Prayer group that I hadn't seen all year.  I got to spend some time catching up with her and my heart soared.   Being able to talk to her for the first time since last spring felt WONDERFUL and totally made my night.

After we'd talked for about 30 minutes a lady I know from when our sons were in Kindergarten last year came over and said "Congratulations, girl!".  I didn't know what she was talking about.  She told me I'd won the raffle!!!  I had missed the announcement while talking to my friend!  As I walked to the PTO booth to claim it I ran into the PTO/sandwich making/bought me a raffle ticket friend who had already claimed my prize for me since she thought I'd left :)   The night got even better!!!

After I was holding my prize I telling my friend how excited I was and the back story as to why our mutual friend (my sandwich making friend also is from my MIP group) bought me the raffle ticket and I said, "God cares about my hair!"  She reminded me that God knows every hair on my head and I said, "I know! I just didn't know he cared about the COLOR of it!"

By now I was almost giddy because I was able to visit with a friend I hadn't seen in months AND I won the raffle (I'm absolutely one of those "I never win anything" people)

I finally got home and was able to sit down & rest for the first time all day (seemingly the first time all week).  I fell onto the couch, grabbed my phone and started looking at Facebook.  One of the first messages I saw was a post to a friend's wall saying "Auntie Barb says 'Congratulations'".   That definitely made me curious.   I went to my friend's wall and saw a lot of Congratulations messages.  I was able to figure out what had happened . . . SHE GOT ENGAGED!! :)   This friend was one of my flower girls (along with her sister) when I got married in 2004.  Her dad and my husband grew up together.   My husband was at the hospital the day she was born.  She calls my husband "Uncle".   Her dad is a pastor and performed our wedding.  Her mom is a good friend of mine.  Her Great-Grandma's legacy inspires me.  Words can't express how THRILLED I was for her.

I went into the office where my husband was on the computer and told him she'd gotten engaged.  Since he held her the day she was born I knew he'd want to know.  As soon as I told him I went to sit back down.  I hadn't even made my way to the couch when my phone rang.  Caller ID said it was my friend, the soon-to-be-Mother-of-the-Bride.  I picked up the phone saying "Hello Mother-of-the Bride! I just saw on Facebook!"  I was greeted with "Well, actually . . . it's the Bride!"  She had called us herself because she wanted us to know :)   Her mom was able to witness her daughter's engagement so she used her mom's phone after her battery had run out making other calls.

In just an hour my Friday evening went from discouraging to one of the best nights in a long time :)  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Unexpected Blessing

When I was single people used to tell me "The One" would come along when I least expected it.  I didn't believe them, but at a low point in my life, in God's perfect timing,  I met my husband.

My youngest is currently in preschool three mornings a week and will be starting Kindergarten in August, 2014.  From the time we were dating my husband and I agreed on the importance of Mom staying home while the kids were young.  During those early talks (since we started dating at 26 and 36 our conversations on our first few dates sounded more like job interviews talking about everything from money management to disciplining kids) we had talked about Mom working outside of the home once the youngest went to Kindergarten.  (Both of our moms did that)

Once I quit my last job with a paycheck in 2006 to stay home with our oldest I had presumed I'd be heading back to work eventually.  I studied education, but know I don't want to teach full time.  Though it's not necessarily something I want to do, I've long thought that substituting would be the perfect fit for me, where I could have flexible hours and have the same schedule as my kids.

As our youngest has grown my husband and I have talked about my future employment status at length.  As far as my husband is concerned he would be ok if I didn't go back to work because we both think it's important that I'm the one who takes the kids to school, pick them up and is home with them after school.  (We don't have bus service in our neighborhood so someone would have to take them to and from school every day). We also knew that, with most jobs, we would have to scramble for child care on days the kids had early release or school breaks.  When my oldest was in Kindergarten last year I realized how much I enjoyed volunteering in his classroom and seeing what was happening at school with my own eyes so being able to continue that through the years became important as well.

Because I do most of our day-to-day money management I have often wished there was a way for me to bring in some extra income while still being fully available to my family.  Since 2009 I have been a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, but I haven't been able to do turn that into a steady source of income without taking away from family time in the evenings or weekends.

I wasn't looking for a job last week, but when a friend texted me a few days ago asking me if I'd be interested in working for the same company she does by doing social media marketing from home 10-15 hours a week it became something that felt like the perfect fit.  After talking to my husband, praying about it, and talking to a few other friends who work from home while caring for young kids I decided to persue the position.  I submitted my resume and a writing sample to the owner of the company yesterday afternoon and she offered me the position.  I will start training Friday morning.

This is all very sudden, but it feels absolutely right.  For quite a while I have looked at my friend (who is now my co-worker) and thought "I would love to do what she's doing".  I'm obviously very familiar with social media and have long been fascinated by marketing.  I love to write and started this blog because of that love.

This new adventure will allow me to combine many of the things I enjoy while bringing in an income and not taking away from my responsibilities to my family! It's a win/win/win situation that could only come from God!

I'm praising God for this opportunity and am very excited about seeing where this leads . . .

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Month In . . .

Well . . . it's been about a month since I started going to the fitness center in my neighborhood..   I'm proud to say I've been going most days that my daughter is in preschool and it's becoming a habit!  Some life stuff has prevented me from going every day, but it's progress and a HUGE step in the right direction.

Wednesday I had my worst workout since I began.  Less than 1 mile in I started having problems with my shins, my calves and my hips.  I slowed my walking pace down all the way to 2.7mph for the remaining 15 minutes I had on the treadmill.  I whined all over Facebook about how much it stunk.  I whined on the Heidi's @ Home Facebook page, I whined on Another Housewife's Facebook page and I whined on Twitter. I whined A LOT.

Finally, Jenniemarie from Another Housewife responded to my whines by saying, "Heidi  (said in my most serious mommy voice). Please get go get fitted for shoes. You don't have to buy them there. Just get fitted for what show is best for you and then you can shop around for price. Also get familiar with the term R.I.C.E. (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevate.) I would suggest purchasing a pair of compression sleeves/socks-they really help. Make stretching a priority-trust me. Most importantly PLEASE, PLEASE do not compare yourself to anyone else. You kept moving for 45 MINUTES, celebrate it. Okay, stepping off my mommy soap box now."

Well . . . because I'm a compliant child I took Jenniemarie's advice.  I went and got fitted for shoes this morning.


I'll be upgrading from doing my workouts in these street shoes


to these actual running shoes!






I'm looking forward to them arriving and some pain free miles on the treadmill!Women's Guide 6

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Persecution

One year ago today an American citizen was imprisoned in Iran.  Saeed Abedini is currently being kept in Evin Prison. In this letter to his wife Saeed describes the conditions he has been experiencing.  Pastor Saeed has been sentenced to 8 years in Evin.

Saeed is a father with young children he has not seen in over a year.  Recently Saeed's daughter received a letter from her dad that has been made public.

Saeed's plight has been a topic of conversation in our home many times in the past year.  Saeed's name is on one of the sticks we pick each night to pray for at the dinner table.  My daughter has been praying for Saeed nightly, just before I tuck her into bed.  Every night she prays, "God help Saeed to get out of jail and help the polices be nicer in Iran."

Today Christians are gathering all over the world for a prayer vigil where they will be praying for Saeed's release.

Saeed is not the only Christian in the world who is being persecuted for his faith.  www.persecution.org is a wealth of information about the ways Christians all over the world are being arrested, tortured and murdered for their faith in Jesus.

Since the earliest days of the Christian church there has been persecution.  Stephen was the first martyr and his murder is described in Acts 7:54-8:3.  In a move only God can do, a Pharisee by the name of Saul was present at Stephen's stoning.  Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and his conversion was so dramatic that God changed his name to Paul.   Paul went on to write most of the New Testament and wrote of his own persecution for his faith.

I can't think of Saeed without thinking of the parallels to Paul, including the fact they both came to faith in Christ as adults and have spent their adult lives preaching the Gospel.

As I pray for Saeed I'm reminded of Paul's letter to the church in Philippi.  "Now, I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.  As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ." Philippians 1: 12-13

Really, I could copy Philippians 1:12-30 as a guidebook on how to handle persecution.   Just as Paul continued to preach the gospel to his captors (a captive audience!) so has Saeed.

As the global church gathers today to pray for Saeed I'm praying for his release and also praying for him to have the strength to endure the conditions he's currently experiencing, knowing God is using his life even in Evin prison.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Midnight Rambler

I'm just going to be flat out honest . . .  I'm having a rough night emotionally.  I'm basically throwing myself a pity party.

A friend's daughter was injured in an accident at home over the weekend and I just can't stop praying for her and her family right now.

On top of that I've been doing a lot of introspection and most of it hasn't been good.  The truth is I just wish I could wave some sort of magic wand and have all my shortcomings, failures and idiosyncrasies vanish.  Those qualities I don't like about myself and that others don't either . . .  I want them GONE.

I guess the truth is I've been thinking a lot about my relationship troubles with friends and family and don't know how to fix what's "wrong" with me.  I don't even know specifically what's wrong---I just know something is and I want it changed.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Syria

I'm very passionate about politics and world affairs.  As a general rule I tend to keep my politics off of Facebook and my blog.  I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum and I choose not to engage in debates, nor do I want to anger or offend my friends who may not agree with me.  That being said . . . this is NOT a political post :) 

Every time I hear the word "Damascus" I think of the meeting Saul had with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.   I think of Annanias and His obedience.  I think of God changing Saul's name to Paul because Saul had died and became a new creation.

The other day I was thinking about the current situation in Syria.  I was reading reports of one of the world's oldest Christan churches being destroyed.  In that moment I thought of Saul's conversion.

As I'm praying for the people of Syria, the leaders of Syria and the world leaders who are deciding on what level they want to be involved I was reminded of that meeting on the road to Damascus.

Along with my continued prayers for those mentioned above I am praying the leaders of Syria, specifically President Asaad and other decision makers, I am praying they would encounter the risen Christ in such a way their only choice is to fall flat on their face and worship Him.  I am praying for a conversion so dramatic it would change a dictator who has poisoned his own people to a man who follows Jesus and loves the world the way He does.  

Saul was a "Jew of Jews" and was so zealous in his faith he persucuted the first followers of Christ and was present at the death of the first martyr, Stephen.  God changed Saul's heart and renamed him Paul. Paul went on to be a man who wrote most of the New Testament.  

2000 years ago in Syria God completely changed a man and caused his life to do a 180.  He's done it before and I'm praying that, by a miracle only He can accomplish, it happens again!

Getting there!

In the past week I have been to the City's fitness & aquatic center three times, with improvements each time!

The first time I went was Friday 9/6. I did 2 minutes on the eliptical before my legs got too tired and I moved to the treadmill.  I walked on the treadmill for just under 17 minutes until my legs started getting so red and itchy I had to quit.  I was going between 3.5 and 4.0 MPH and kept my heart rate right around 140.

Saturday evening I had a little problem with my old nemesis, shin splints, but I iced them and that helped.

Wednesday 9/11 I squeezed another trip in (it was a busy day of errands and an optometrist appt. so it would've been easy to skip).  Wednesday I was able to do 5 minutes on the eliptical and then did 30 minutes on the treadmill.   I walked at about the same pace I did on Friday, but I didn't need to stop because of my legs. YAY!

Wednesday I felt so good afterwards I remember thinking, "I wish I could go Thursday . . . "  That is NOT me.  I'm lazy and despise working out so that thought absolutely shocked me.

Thursday I had no problems with my shins hurting me, though my glutes were a little sore.  I'm considering the sore glutes a good thing meaning I'm making progress.  They weren't "Oh.My.Goodness! I can't move!" sore . . . just a little reminder that muscles were being worked :)

Today I went straight to the gym after dropping my daughter off at preschool (the previous two mornings were a little later in the day because of appointments and other things that needed to be done).  It was a little more crowded this time and all 4 treadmills were busy when I got there.  I did the elipitcal for 5 minutes and then a treadmill opened up.  About 17ish minutes into using the treadmill I changed one of the settings and then the whole thing stopped and wouldn't re-start.  I'm sure it was human error, but by then another machine opened up so I went there.  (3 are the same type and one is a bit different.  It was the different one I had issues with).  Though my goal was just to do about 13 minutes on the second treadmill to finish what I'd already started, I ended up going another 30 full minutes!   I had to slow down a little because I was getting a stich in my side.  I also noticed my shins were starting to hurt so I let up a little bit.

Time will tell how I feel tomorrow, but right now I'm pretty proud of myself that I've been able to go 3x in the past 7 days.   Looking at next week I should be able to go at least twice and may be able to go 3x!